Choice Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield

By Deanna Kane | Advertiser Disclosure

Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield are two of the most well-known and consumer-friendly home warranty companies in the industry today.

American Home Shield has been in the home warranty business since 1971 and serves customers in every U.S. state. Choice Home Warranties is newer to the industry, as it started in 2008 and has since grown to serve most U.S. homeowners except those located in California, Washington, and Oklahoma.

This article breaks down Choice Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield in a head-to-head comparison of coverage, cost, how the claims process works, and important policy features.

Available plans
Average cost
Service fee
Service recall period
Support
Availability
BBB rating
Years in business

Available plans

  • Appliances plan
  • Systems plan
  • Combo plan
  • Build your own plan

Average cost

$50–$60 per month

Service fee

$75–$125

Service recall period

30 days on parts and labor

Support

A 24/7 online system is open for claims.

Availability

All states except Alaska

BBB rating

B

Years in business

49 years

Available plans

  • Basic plan
  • Total plan

Average cost

$36–$44 per month

Service fee

$60–$85

Service recall period

30 days on labor
90 days on parts

Support

A 24/7 call center is open for claims.

Availability

All states except California, Oklahoma, and Washington

BBB rating

B

Years in business

12

Coverage comparison

When comparing the coverage options of Choice Home Warranty vs. AHS, both companies offer comprehensive plans that can accommodate most individual’s home systems and appliance repair and replacement needs.

Choice Home Warranty

Also one of the largest home warranty companies in the U.S., Choice Home Warranty offers two different plans to accommodate different home repair and replacement needs. The two home warranty plan options include:

  • Basic plan—This includes heating, electrical and plumbing systems, plumbing stoppage, water heaters, whirlpool bathtub, oven or stove, dishwasher, cooktop, garbage disposal, built-in microwave, garage door opener, ductwork, and ceiling and exhaust fans. 
  • Total plan—This covers everything in the basic plan, plus a customer’s air conditioning, refrigerator, washing machine, and clothes dryer. 

Note: Additional coverage is available for a pool/spa, well pump, sump pump, septic system, septic tank pumping, second fridge, and stand-alone freezer.

American Home Shield takes care of my problems immediately. When it is an emergency they handle it the same day. The people they send out are professional, on time, always explain what my problem is, how they will solve it and how to keep it from happening again.”

American Home Shield

As one of the largest and oldest home warranty companies in the U.S., American Home Shield offers affordable plans that accommodate different customers’ needs. Learn more about the four home warranty plan options from AHS below:

  • Systems plan—This protects home systems such as air conditioning (ductwork included), heating (ductwork included), electrical, plumbing, water heaters, garbage disposal, central vacuums, instant hot and cold water dispensers, smoke detectors, doorbells, and ceiling fans.
  • Appliances plan—This includes coverage for common household appliances, such as the washing machine and clothes dryer, dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop, built-in microwave oven, refrigerator, free-standing ice maker, trash compactor, built-in food processor, and garage door opener.
  • Combo plan—This plan combines aspects of both the Systems and Appliances plans.
  • Build-your-own plan—With this plan, the customer decides which systems and appliances are included in the home warranty contract. This plan has the most flexible pricing because the price reflects the level of coverage. Build-your-own plans from AHS must include at least 10 appliances.

Note: Coverage is available for additional home systems and appliances such as a pool and/or spa, septic pump, and well pump.

I purchased the Total plan plus additional coverage for my pool. It wasn’t cheap, I’ll tell you that, but I felt (and I still do) what you buy is peace of mind. Anyways, I had one minor plumbing issue. The drain in the bathtub was clogged or something. When the technician inspected the piping, he pulled out a huge chunk of something resembling the abrasive side of a dish sponge. I have no idea how that got there. He said it was our fault it was there, you’re not supposed to allow objects like that into the pipes. I was afraid he’d say our claim was no good, but he didn’t. He fixed it, took the service fee money and left.”

Choice Home Warranty vs. AHS cost

When comparing the cost of Choice Home Warranty vs. AHS, both companies offer similar services, however Choice Home Warranty’s service call fees are less expensive.

Choice Home Warranty—Choice Home Warranty has a standard $60 service call fee. This is $60 per claim, regardless of the actual cost to repair or replace your broken system or appliance. It’s payable directly to the technicians. Your monthly premium will cost around $49.99 to $59.99 for a Choice Home Warranty.

American Home Shield—Service fees will depend on the coverage plan selected. There are three service fee rates: $75, $100, and $125. These fees are determined at the same time the coverage plan is selected during sign-up. You can expect your monthly premium to cost between $36 and $44 for an AHS home warranty.

How does each home warranty work?

A home warranty, also known as home appliance insurance or home repair insurance, is different from an insurance policy as it’s a service contract that covers major systems and appliances that need to be repaired and replaced. Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield offer similar coverage and home warranties from both providers include the option for full coverage with multiple plan tiers to choose from and use clear contract language.

When it comes down to submitting a claim, the process is similar between Choice Home Warranty and AHS. Both companies have convenient customer service access and quick technician turnaround times.

Choice Home Warranty—Customers can log in to their online CHW portal to make a claim. A technician will be sent to the customer’s residence as soon as possible. Customers can also call if more immediate assistance is required.

American Home Shield—Contract holders can request service online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A technician is then assigned to diagnose the problem and offer a solution. The technician typically reaches the customer within 24 hours from the time the claim is made.

Policy differences

American Home Shield and Choice Home Warranty each have minor limitations and exclusions, however it’s the responsibility of the consumer to thoroughly read the terms and conditions prior to signing.

Choice Home Warranty

Like American Home Shield, it’s important to review your CHW plan’s terms and conditions to ensure that you’re not surprised by any coverage gaps or extra charges. A home warranty with Choice Home Warranty starts 30 days after the contract is signed. This agreement is valid for 365 days. If the technician determines the appliance can’t be repaired, Choice Home Warranty will offer the contract holder a cash payment for the replacement cost.

American Home Shield

American Home Shield’s home warranty terms and conditions are not public—only contract holders can access the agreement. This makes it important to fully understand the terms and conditions before opting in to the policy.

There is a sample contract available on the AHS FAQ page that outlines everything that could be covered under a policy, however this doesn’t guarantee it will be. It’s also important to know that even though an appliance or system is included, it doesn’t always mean your claim will be accepted.

Our conclusion

While both home warranty companies have their advantages and disadvantages, Choice Home Warranty offers essentially the same services with lower service fees than American Home Shield.

Choice Home Warranty is best for:

  • Those who want unlimited call center access
  • Those who desire a transparent repair and replacement process
  • Those who are wanting to choose from a large contractor network
  • Those who want an affordable home warranty

What we don’t like about CHW:

  • They don’t offer as much coverage nationwide like AHS does.
  • They charge a $50 administrative fee if you cancel services.

American Home Shield is best for:

  • Those who would like the option to choose from a variety of plans
  • Those who want customizable coverage
  • Those who want a trustworthy company with many years in the business

What we don’t like about AHS:

  • Though they offer 24/7 customer support, contractors are available only during normal business hours.
  • They’re slightly more expensive than CHW.

We pick Choice Home Warranty because of the better cost value and extensive network of service technicians at the customer’s disposal.

Editor's Choice

  • 2 plans available + optional add-ons
  • Has over 10 years of industry experience
  • 90-day repair guarantee
  • $36–$44 per month

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